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Marty’s musings: Down to the final four

Down to the final four, the League Chapionship Series are upon us.

Division Series - New York Yankees v Tampa Bay Rays - Game Five Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Welcome to ‘Marty’s Musings’, my weekly column of numbers summarizing the happenings in the baseball world. I am your guide for taking an analytic look at the news and notes throughout the game, and highlighting this week’s key pitching matchups.

The high-powered Yankees were shut down in a winner-take-all-game five, and the favored Dodgers continue their dominance in the National League.

News & Notes

4 - Teams left in this year’s MLB playoffs, with all four teams having ties to Andrew Friedman. Friedman’s lieutenants and senior staff over the years have spread their wings throughout baseball, including current Braves General Manager Alex Anthoupolis, Astros General Manager James Click, and Rays’ front office exec Erik Neander.

3 - Solo home runs that barely cleared the wall in the ALDS game five that sent the Rays into the ALCS to face the Astros. Two solo wall-scrapers were just enough to propel the Rays past the Yankees in a game where Rays pitching shutdown the Yanks’ potent offense just enough to get by in the series.

11 - Career home runs for the Rays Mike Brosseau, who hit his first postseason homer in the highest-of-leverage spots. Brosseau’s game five solo home run against Aroldis Chapman propelled the Rays to the ALCS.

2 - Games the Astros posted a ten+ spot against the Athletics, in their four games against Oakland. Houston’s offense made the strong Oakland bullpen look mortal, in a series that was never much in doubt once the ‘stros grabbed a 2-0 series lead.

1 - Postseason series loss for the Marlins in their franchise history. 2020 is the first time the Marlins have made the playoffs and not won the World Series. Despite handling dismissing the Cubs in the Wild Card round, Miami got swept out the LDS, being outscored by Atlanta 18-5 in three games.

LCS Matchups

Astros v. Rays

The Rays are the average baseball fans’ darling this postseason, going up against the cheatin’ Astros in the LCS. Tampa’s unconventional style, and moneyball tactics have positioned them well in the LCS. Still, the Rays pitchers will meet their match with a Houston team that looks like they’re finally hitting their stride after a middling, sub-.500 regular season.

Braves v. Dodgers

Los Angeles continues their perennial juggernaut ways, with Walker Buhler and Clayton Kershaw as the clear best one-two punch in the postseason. The Dodgers’ depth will do well for them in a seven-game series with no off-days, although Kenley Janssen was hardly lights-out in the LDS.

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Steven Martano is an Editor at Beyond the Box Score, a Contributing Prospect Writer for the Colorado Rockies at Purple Row, and a contributing writer for The Hardball Times. You can follow him on Twitter at @SMartano